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Liam Neeson Faces Opposition From Irish Animal Rights Group

March 11, 2014, 2:37 pm GMT

'Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages' called the actor a bully for trying to change Mayor de Blasio's plan to ban horse-drawn carriage.

Liam Neeson

By supporting the horse-drawn carriage industry, Liam Neeson has sought war against animal lovers. The actor recently hosted a tour for City Council members at the Clinton Park Stables to show how well-cared the horses were, prompting Irish animal right groups to protest.

Comprised of Irish groups in Ireland and Irish Americans, the group called itself "Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages". They slammed Neeson for inviting Mayor de Blasio and 51 council members to the tour although the Mayor was eventually absent from the event.

"While not overtly public about his political views, which are decidedly conservative, Neeson has joined the conventional media in NYC and is waging a high-profile campaign against Mayor de Blasio, whose ideology is progressive and threatens the status quo. DeBlasio has unequivocally said he will ban the horse-drawn carriage trade and Neeson is trying to bully him into changing his mind," the group said in a statement.

Elizabeth Forel, president of the group, went extra length to express her disagreement with the "Non-Stop" actor. "I have boycotted Liam Neeson's films for years," she said. "He is an embarrassment to his own people and the human race. Neeson has taken his actor's mask off and revealed himself as a cruel, selfish and bigoted man."

Forel, whose mother was born in Ireland, continued, "It is absurd to suggest we are opposed to any ethnic group, least of all the Irish. There are many good people living in Ireland and the U.S. of Irish extraction, who support and work with us on this ban. If my late mother could see how the drivers treat their horses and how they force them to live and work, she would be ashamed and heartbroken. She knew horses well and cared about the welfare of all animals."

Meanwhile, a member of the group Siobhan Emery said, "I've always admired Liam Neeson until I learned of his position on carriage horses in the U.S. It was not until I met and rescued former carriage horses Monty, Lilly and Teddy did I learn how carriage horses were treated. So in response to Mr. Neeson's invitation to visit the NYC stables, I would like to extend my own invitation to him to visit some of my rescues or to see the kill pens where many of the less fortunate carriage horses end up."

The group also noted that the carriage industry had spawned anti-Irish issue. "The carriage drivers have tried for years to make the campaign to ban horse-drawn carriages in NYC into an anti-Irish issue. But these 'poor Irish lads' are hardly that. They have been exploiting the City of N.Y. for years with their cash only business - not contributing to the tax base as others do, living quite well - many in wealthy suburbs."

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